The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is vowing to “bring in Black members” following an investigation by the Los Angeles Times.
A portion of the Times investigation brought awareness to the fact that the HFPA’s 87-member group of international journalists currently has no Black members. The Globes previously received criticism for not including any Black-led contenders, like One Night in Miami, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Da 5 Bloods or Judas and the Black Messiah, in the Best Picture category. Ahead of the 2021 Golden Globes on Sunday, the HFPA released a statement to the press on Friday.
“We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, TV and the artists inspiring and educating them,” the statement read. “We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible.”
The Times previously reported that back in November, a federal judge sided with the HFPA in dismissing an antitrust lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed three months prior by Norwegian entertainment journalist Kjersti Flaa, who had been denied membership into the group. According to the Times, Flaa accused the HFPA of “institutionalizing a culture of corruption, claiming the tax-exempt organization operated as a kind of cartel, barring qualified applicants — including herself — and monopolizing all-important press access while improperly subsidizing its members’ income.”
The outlet also reported that Flaa accused the HFPA of being “rife with ethical conflicts, with members accepting thousands of dollars in emoluments from the very same studios, networks and celebrities they conferred trophies upon, all of it hidden behind a code of silence.”
“The dismissal was disappointing,” a current HFPA member, who declined to be identified, told the Times. “I thought it would shake things up…. We are an archaic organization. I still think the HFPA needs outside pressure to change.”
The 2021 Golden Globes will air live on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on NBC. Until then, stay tuned to ETonline.com for complete Golden Globes coverage.
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